Listening to NPR I heard a segment on Which Scientific Ideas Must Die? It is based on the book entitled This Idea Must Die; Scientific Theories That Are Blocking Progress, by John Brockman. The thesis of the book is the following question, which was put to 175 brilliant minds: “What scientific idea needs to be put aside in order to make room for new ideas to advance?”
It is not my intention to discuss this NPR piece or the book. It is to ask this same question to the Church and to theologians who serve the Church.
Here is the question: What if Protestants would kill off, Sola Scriptura, or “by Scripture alone”? And just admit that it no longer works, or for that matter, never did work? If one looks at the state of Protestantism, it is a total mess. I’m not sure how many denominations exist at present time. Each one has its own slant on Biblical interpretation. Different conclusions about matters of faith are the norm. Add this to the thousands of “independent” churches that dot the landscape of our country. Each one is headed by a pastor who is in some ways his (almost always a “his”) own pope. Every denomination, every independent, operates according to its own set of beliefs, and all claiming the backing of scripture. According to the principle of noncontradiction a true statement and its opposite cannot both be true at the same time in the same sense. Yet we find Protestant groups and pastors doing just this while applying Sola Scriptura. And this has been true since the very early days of Reformation. There are enough issues connected with Sola Scriptura for an entire series of posts if one were so inclined.
So – we need some thinkers willing to be brave and announce the demise of this doctrine.
Following are a few internet writers considering Sola Scriptura from various points of view:
- According to Scripture by Tim Staples
- Sola Scriptura by Fr. John Whiteford
- The Evangelical Calvinist by Bobby Grow
- Solo Scriptura; The Difference a Vowel Makes by Keith A. Mathison